The England captain may have the ICC on his side on the runner issue in his differences with the South African captain. But his team was recipient of a gesture from the New Zealand captain on another occasion.
When Graeme Smith stated, in response to the decision by Andrew Strauss taken in consultation with the umpires to deny him a runner for cramps, that what comes around goes around, perhaps he did not realize it would come early.
Strauss’ judgement that cramps due to a long innings did not justify the necessity for a runner did not get England a spirit of the game favour from Daniel Vettori. But Strauss did extend a generous gesture towards Sri Lanka’s Angelo Matthews, who was run out after running into the bowler who had the right to stand his ground. Matthews was recalled by Strauss even as Andy Flower, the England coach, was inclined to follow the letter of the law and not call back the batsman.
Vettori’s New Zealand found themselves in a tricky situation when Paul Collingwood had played the ball and with no intention of taking a run, merely walked out of his crease, assuming the ball was done. However, he found himself run out and only after explaining his case with the on field umpire and asking Vettori to see the right of way, he found himself continuing an innings that would have otherwise run out!
The ICC Champions Trophy has certainly tested the spirit of the game!
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